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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 16:20


"He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord"

attention

This is the Hebrew word sakal, which has three different meanings dependent upon the context. It often means to be prudent or act wisely and strategically, understanding the reasons why certain things happen. It also means to ponder or focus attention upon something. It can finally mean insight into something or deep comprehension of something.

In this case the definition of paying attention or intense focus makes the most sense as one focus of the verse is the word.

word

This is the Hebrew word dabar, which means speech or word. This refers to God's word or the divine word. When one ponders and focuses attention on the divine word, then there will be a level of success that is not attainable without it. The Bible is the instruction book for life. If we would just learn to pay enough attention to it, it will keep us from being dragged into every selfish scheme that comes from our heart or someone else’s heart.

good

This is the Hebrew word tob, which means good. The clear orientation of this word is that which is beneficial – either materially or relationally or personally or morally. If people focus their minds on the words of God, there will be benefits to them. This is Solomon's version of what God said to Joshua about meditation; what David said about meditation in Psalm 1; what Paul says about meditation in Colossians 3. There is something powerful at work in chewing on the divine words. It changes you and it changes your future.

blessed

This is the Hebrew word esher, which means blessedness; happiness; spiritual, emotional, material, relational prosperity. This is the consistent reward of those who become people of the Book. God will bless them. He will make sure that in some ways, good happens to them. It is another way of saying what he said in the word good.

trusts

This is the Hebrew word batah, which means to trust in, have confidence in. In order to have truly paid attention to the words of God, you must act upon them which is an evidence of the trust that you have in them. It is not helpful to look at the words of God and then not do them.

Solomon is saying that meditation upon the word of God is a sure way to a great life. It may not be materially that you will be blessed, but your focus upon and action according to Scripture will pay rich dividends both in this life and in the one to come.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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